Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Orange Persimmon Scones! (Oil Free)

Enjoy with a cup of tea. :D
Hi all! I hope you all are having an awesome December! I can't believe it is almost the end of the year. This year went extremely quick and it has taught me to really stay in the present moment and savor each moment that is given to me. Counting the blessings in my life has really taught me to appreciate all that is given to me and since I have been practicing this, I feel that each day my heart opens up a little more. It's one of the best feelings in the world. :)

Anyhoo, this leads me to persimmons. I was blessed to have been at work at the same time that my coworker's friend came in to deliver persimmons. My coworker said that he was selling local organic persimmons to anyone that wants them. And of course I said, "Yes!" but in my head it was more like a, "Hell, yeah!" :P What was awesome too is that I was able to share some of these luscious gems with some of my other coworkers who have never even tried a persimmon. They were so surprised at the flavor and really enjoyed it. I love giving the gift of fruit. :P Fruit always makes people happy. :)

Which now leads me to these scones, which are made with the persimmons that I feel blessed for having the opportunity to buy. Whew! Sorry if that felt like a math proof. LOL! I wanted to make something interesting with these persimmons and for some reason, scones were on my mind. I have never made scones and thought it to be a challenge I could give myself. Plus, I wanted to give something homemade to my secret santa at work and thought scones would be the perfect fit; being that my secret santa loves tea and well, scones just go so well with tea. And I didn't want to buy her tea because we both work in a tea house and can get tea whenever we want.

Oh and these scones just fit the bill. They are soft but still have a dry crumb that scones are supposed to have and have a lovely orange flavor to them in the background. And the glaze just makes them more decadent. Perfect with a cup of hot tea or just dipped in some almond milk. :P Well, without further ado, let's get on to the recipe!


Orange Persimmon Scones

This recipe only yields 6 small scones, but feel free to double it to make even more scones! The only thing I would change when doubling it is that instead of just making one circle with the dough to create the scones, I would make two circles of dough so you still end up with wide wedges as opposed to skinnier ones. Yay for scones! 

Yield: 6 scones
Prep Time: ~25 minutes

Scone Ingredients:
37.5 grams (6 tablespoons + 1 1/2 teaspoons) gluten free oat flour
25 grams (1/8 cup + 1 1/2 teaspoons) buckwheat flour
25 grams (1/8 cup + 1 1/4 tablespoons) teff flour
12.5 (1 1/2 tablespoons) grams tapioca flour 
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon flax meal
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon fine pink Himalayan salt
25 grams (2 1/2 tablespoons) coconut butter
45 grams (3 tablespoons) non-dairy milk (such as almond, coconut, rice, soy, etc.) 
35 grams coconut sugar (3 1/2 tablespoons)
25 grams (2 1/2 tablespoons) 1/4 inch chopped persimmons (with skin)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon orange zest
                -
Glaze Ingredients:
18 grams (1 tablespoon) maple syrup, room temperature or heated slightly
15 grams (1 tablespoon) coconut butter, melted
1/2 tablespoon non-dairy milk

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350 F.
In a large bowl, whisk the oat flour, buckwheat flour, teff flour, tapioca flour, baking powder, flax meal, cinnamon, ginger and salt until completely combined. 

Add the coconut butter to this flour mixture and with your hands, crumble the coconut butter in with the flour until the mixture looks like coarse sand. Set aside.

In a blender, blend the non-dairy milk, coconut sugar, persimmons, lemon juice and orange zest until smooth.

Add the mixture from blender into the bowl of flour mix and using a rubber spatula, mix until all the flour is moistened and a dough comes together. It will be a moist dough. Try not to mix too much. Set aside to dry up a bit for about 3 minutes. 

On a parchment lined or silicon lined baking sheet, form the dough into a 5 inch circle that is about 3/4 inch thick. Using a knife cut into 6 wedges.
With a turner spatula, get under each wedge to separate the wedges on the baking sheet. Be very careful and gentle as they will want to break apart. But no worries, they will hold up when they are done baking. :) Or if you are pressed for time, you can most certainly plop the scone dough onto the parchment into six equal plops of dough. Either, way, it will still be delicious. :P

Bake in the oven for about 12 minutes or until the middle is cooked through and the top of the scone does not indent when you press it lightly with your finger.

Let cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes and then transfer them to a cooling rack or large plate to finish cooling.

While the scones are cooling, mix up the glaze ingredients. Mix the maple syrup, coconut butter and almond milk in a small bowl until completely combined. When the scones are completely cooled, spread the glaze on each scone. Enjoy! :)

Substitutions:

  • Feel free to try different whole grain flours (such as brown rice flour, sorghum flour, millet flour, quinoa flour, etc.) for the gluten free oat, buckwheat and teff flours and try different starches or white flours (such as white rice flour, arrowroot starch, potato starch, etc.) for the tapioca starch . I would only substitute the flours and starches by weight, not volume, but if you have any success substituting by volume I would love to know! It sometimes works! As long as you have fun and are being creative in the kitchen, I think that is the only thing that matters. Bending the rules makes things more fun sometimes. :P
Beautiful persimmons. :)

Here is the nutritional information for the scones from CRON-O-Meter. What is awesome about these scones, is that compared to the blueberry scones one can get at Starbucks, these are a true winner! Comparatively, gram for gram, these scones have more fiber, less calories, less fat and less sugar! These scones also contain Vitamin C and have no cholesterol as compared to scones one can buy at Starbucks. Yay for tasty and healthy scones! :)

Thank you so much for stopping by today to check out this recipe. I really appreciate it. If you try these scones out, please let me know how they turned out for you! I would love to know! Take care and I will be back soon with another recipe!

Love,
Rawnessa <3


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Sunday, November 30, 2014

Butternut Bonanza!: Butternut Blondies with a Walnut Caramel Topping


Hi all! I hope you are all doing well! I'm sorry that this post has come post Thanksgiving, but this treat can be eaten any day after or anytime of the year. :) What's also nice is that if you happen to have any leftover steamed or baked butternut squash from Thanksgiving, this recipe is right up your alley. :)

At first I originally wanted to make a butternut and white chocolate swirl blondie, because I thought the flavor combinations would be awesome. But then I got to thinking. I don't really like chocolate (GASP. I know, weird) and I don't really want them in these blondies. I feel that since it is a blondie, it should not have any remnance of chocolate in it. I mean, the brownie gets enough chocolate love, let brownie's cousin have her own spotlight in which to shine. :) And the addition of butternut squash to these blondies keeps them moist without bringing the fat content sky high as well as bringing its awesome nutritional profile with it. An A+ in my book! :)

The ratio for this recipe was inspired by Jonathon from The Canary Files. His post through the Gluten Free Ratio Rally for Vegan Marbled Banana Walnut Blondies won me over and I appreciated that he also was not a fan of chocolate. And his brownies looked fabulous! So I used the ratio as inspiration and ran with it. And the result was fabulous and not to mention, oil free! :D

I hope you all enjoy the recipe and hoped you enjoyed this Butternut Madness Bonanza! :)


Butternut Blondies with a Walnut Caramel Topping

Yield: 12 2"x1.5" squares
Prep Time: ~20 minutes
Bake Time: ~18-20 minutes

Ingredients:
75 grams (3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon) gluten free oat flour
30 grams (1/4 cup) buckwheat flour
30 grams (2 1/2 tablespoons) teff flour
15 grams (2 tablespoons) tapioca flour/starch
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1/8 teapsoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon fine pink Himalayan salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
250 grams (1 cup + 1/8 cup) steamed and 1/2 inch cubed butternut squash
100 grams (1/2 cup) coconut sugar
25 grams (1 tablespoon + 1/2 teaspoon) maple syrup
50 grams (3 heaping tablespoons) coconut butter, softened 
7 grams (1 tablespoon) ground flax seed
30 grams (3 tablespoons) water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
                    - 
18 grams (1 tablespoon) maple syrup
15 grams (1 tablespoon) coconut butter, softened
50 grams (1/2 cup) toasted walnuts, chopped

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350F.
In a large bowl, whisk together the oat flour, buckwheat flour, teff flour, tapioca starch, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, salt, and baking powder. Set aside.
To a blender, add the butternut squash, coconut sugar, 25 grams maple syrup, 50 grams coconut butter, flax seed, water and vanilla extract and blend until completely smooth.
Add the blended mixture to the flour mixture and whisk to combine. 
Line an 8 x 8 inch square baking pan with parchment paper.
Pour the mixture into the baking pan and spread it evenly to all corners.
Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Meanwhile, while the blondies are baking, in a small bowl, combine the 18 grams of maple syrup and 15 grams coconut butter until completely smooth. As soon as the blondies come out of the oven, spread this mixture all over the top of the blondies and sprinkle the walnuts over the top as well. Press down on the walnuts slightly so that they are held in place on top of the blondie. Let cool in the pan 10 minutes. Take out of the pan while leaving in the parchment and set on a cooling rack until completely cooled. 
Cut and enjoy! :)



Here is the nutritional information for these blondies from CRON-O-Meter. These blondies are high in beta-carotene (which is the precursor to vitamin A and is from the lovely butternut squash), manganese and have a good amount of iron and calcium per serving. Woot woot for putting squash in desserts! :)

Thank you all for stopping by and checking out this recipe. I hope you get to try it out! This will be my last post for the Butternut Bonanza but it won't stop me from using butternut squash in creative ways that may show up on the blog in the future... But for now, I think three posts is enough for butternut squash recipes. :) More to come and I will catch you all later! :)

Love,
Rawnessa <3


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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Butternut Bonanza!: Puerto Rican Butternut Squash and Green Pea Risotto (Risotto de Calabaza y Guisante a lo Criollo)

May I have a bowl, please?
Hi all! I hope you all are enjoying your week so far! I know I am, especially after making this recipe. :) I'm in heaven! It's a little more time consuming than the other recipes that I post, but it is oh so worth it! This is great as a side dish for Thanksgiving (if you want to add a Puerto Rican flair to your dinner feast!) or as a nice dinner entree. It's creamy, filling and oh so good! And no cheese or butter was added, as is what is usually added to a risotto. An A+ in my book! :)

I've been wanting to create a recipe that had a Puerto Rican feel to it but while still remaining vegan, gluten free (which is easy peasy in Puerto Rican cooking. Who knew?) and yummilicious! I love using sofrito (a combination of onions, garlic, bell peppers (or aji dulces if you can get them), and cilantro) in dishes because it brings out so much flavor to anything you make! It's the equivalent to the French's use of mirepoix, but with a Puerto Rican twist. I feel like every culture has their own mirepoix or sofrito and exploring those different cultures makes cooking so much fun! I learned how to make sofrito from my mom and boy am I glad she taught me the basics of Puerto Rican cooking. I'm by no means as good as her at creating the most authentic of dishes (being that I veganize and health-ify every dish I make) but I try my best! I hope you think this is somewhat authentic Mom!

I think the addition of the butternut squash and the peas gives the dish a sweetness and fall flavor that I love. If I was in Puerto Rico, I probably would have used pigeon peas (gandules) for the sweet peas to give a more authentic feel, but the sweet peas lend a nice touch and plus they're much easier to obtain than pigeon peas. Anyhoo, I hope you enjoy the recipe as much as I did! :)

Puerto Rican Butternut Squash and Green Pea Risotto                                 (Risotto de Calabaza y Guisante a lo Criollo)

 Yield: ~6 1/2 cups
 Cooking Time: 1 1/2 hours
Servings: ~ 6

Ingredients:
283 grams (1 1/2 cups) short grain brown rice
588 grams (2 1/2 cups) filtered water
                     -
228 grams (1 1/2 cups) 1/2 inch chopped tomatoes
110 grams (heaping 3/4 cup) 1/2 inch chopped green bell pepper
110 grams (heaping 3/4 cup) 1/2 inch chopped red bell pepper
76 grams (1/2 cup + 1/8 cup) 1/2 inch chopped yellow onion
56 grams (1 1/4 cup) roughly chopped cilantro (leaves and some stems)
14 grams (1/4 cup) sun dried tomatoes reconstituted in 1/4 cup boiled vegetable stock
1 tablespoon minced garlic
                      -
5 cups (1250 grams/1183 mililiters) vegetable stock
1 teaspoon coconut oil
2 tablespoons 1/8 inch sliced green olives
3/4 teaspoon fine pink Himalayan salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin seed
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander seed
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
                         -
280 grams (1 1/2 cups) steamed cooked 1/2 inch chopped butternut squash
138 grams (1 cup frozen) sweet green peas
11 grams (1/4 cup) roughly chopped cilantro (garnish, optional)

Instructions:
Place brown rice in a medium sized bowl and cover with the water. Let soak for 8 - 12 hours on your counter top. Drain, rinse and set aside.

Place the tomatoes, green bell pepper, red bell pepper, onion, the 1 1/4 cups cilantro, sun dried tomatoes along with the vegetable stock in which they were reconstituted and minced garlic in a blender or food processor and blend (process) until smooth. Set aside.

In a pot, heat up the vegetable stock and keep on a low simmer.

In a large pot, heat up the coconut oil on medium-low heat. Once heated, add the contents from the blender, the green olives, salt, cumin, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, black pepper, turmeric, and cayenne and stir to combine. Heat this mixture and let simmer for about 10 minutes on medium-low heat. Add the soaked rice and stir to combine. Keep simmering (stir every now and then), until more water has evaporated, about 5 minutes.

Add 1/2 cup of heated vegetable stock to this mixture and stir to combine. Keep stirring every so often and cook until some of the liquid has evaporated or until when you run your spoon through the mixture, it leaves a valley that slowly fills up back again with the mixture. When this happens, add 1/2 cup more vegetable stock and stir. Wait until the liquid has evaporated and add 1/2 cup more stock. Repeat this process until you have no more vegetable stock left. This may take about an hour.

When you pour in the last 1/2 cup vegetable stock, add the peas and butternut squash and mix thoroughly. Cook until the liquid has evaporated. Stir in the chopped cilantro and serve immediately. Enjoy!

Variations:

  • Feel free to add any vegetable you desire to this dish! Chopped kale or greens would go lovely in here, or some chopped broccoli or carrots. Whatever your heart desires! If you were to add in a harder vegetable (such as carrots), I would add it to the dish at the beginning as opposed to the end like I did with the peas and butternut squash, so it can cook thoroughly. 

Yum! :P
Here you can find the nutritional information for this dish from CRON-O-Meter. What I love about this dish is that it is low in fat but high in flavor and nutrients! A serving of this has 77% of your daily value for vitamin A, 92% of your daily value of vitamin C, is high in magnesium, vitamin K, and high in vitamin B1 and B6! And to boot, it has 6 grams of fiber! Can't go wrong here! :) The only thing I would tweak is the amount of salt I put in the dish in order to decrease the sodium content. If you are sensitive to salt, I would decrease it a bit but I promise it will still be full of flavor! :)

Thank you all for stopping by. I really appreciate you coming to visit the blog. I will try very hard to get in a dessert butternut squash recipe on the blog before Thanksgiving so you have another butternut recipe for the Thanksgiving feast. I am excited using this yummy squash in different ways and I hope you are enjoying the recipes! I will be back soon! :)

Love,
Rawnessa <3


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